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Ok so I realise that I’ve not contributed to ZNH for a little while (there’s a variety of reasons for this – but I’ll not bore you) and every now and again something passes my desk, or is whispered in my ear that is too good (or odd) to pass up.
I was casually surfing around when I found this blog post at the China Herald
And I have to say I was rather taken aback. Why on Earth would anyone feel the need to ban a performance of Pinocchio? What is it in the story that offends!?
Let me give you a quick synposis…
When the gentle woodcarver Geppetto builds a marionette to be his substitute son, a benevolent fairy brings the toy to life. The puppet, named Pinocchio, is not yet a human boy. He must earn the right to be real by proving that he is brave, truthful, and unselfish. But, even with the help of Jiminy, a cricket who the fairy assigns to be Pinocchio’s conscience, the marionette goes astray. He joins a puppet show instead of going to school, he lies instead of telling the truth, and he travels to Pleasure Island instead of going straight home. Yet, when Pinocchio discovers that a whale has swallowed Geppetto, the puppet single-mindedly journeys into the ocean and selflessly risks his life to save his father, thereby displaying that he deserves to be a real boy.
Now, forgive me if I am wrong – but isn’t this a story about the discovery of oneself? About being unselfish and telling the truth?
Somebody please tell me what I’m missing here.





  1. Xia Hu You says:

    boy,this is very intersting.a story heard by a English guy from a Dutch paper from a Italian colleague.

  2. Ban Ev-re-ting says:

    I’m going to take a stab at this: Geppetto represents Sun Yat-sen, while Pinocchio is Mao Zedong. And Jiminy? Zhou Enlai, obviously. The only difference, which is sooooo clear it hurts, is that in CCP version (the banned one), Pinocchio (Mao) never came back from Pleasure Island. Never heard or cared that Geppetto was swallowed by a whale (whale = Sun’s crushing failure to gain national unity). Mao…or rather Pinocchio, thus never became a real boy.
    This bit of realism hurts the feelings fairies everywhere. Should be banned. “But, I’m a real boy”? You, Pinocchio, are a piece of wood. Get real.

  3. Dedric says:

    You missed the bit where the puppet gets “wood” when he is deceitful

  4. XniteMan says:

    “And I have to say I was rather taken aback. Why on Earth would anyone feel the need to ban a performance of Pinocchio? What is it in the story that offends!?”
    Funny, where do you get the impression that the ban, if true, comes from the story itself? You really don’t have enough infomation to draw any conclusion upon.

  5. Neddy says:

    True or BS, let’s take this story at face value, just for argument’s sake. So, why should it be banned in China? Read the article again:
    “And say now yourself, would you like to expose the Chinese to this moralistic story saying that telling the truth would basically be the right thing to do? That would be very disruptive.”
    Disruptive, indeed. Think what it would do to “harmony”!

  6. Pierre says:

    Someone in the Chinese government with a long nose is getting too sensitive.